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Four tries for Tigers in regular season finale

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Leicester Tigers scored four tries at The Rec as their regular season Aviva Premiership campaign ended in a 38-27 defeat to Bath Rugby.

Tigers had already booked their place in the Premiership Rugby knockout stages for a 12th successive season with victory over Worcester in Round 21.
 
And after the shock of conceding a second-minute try, they scored three first-half tries to lead 19-10 at the break. Fraser Balmain and Mathew Tait scored their first tries of the season and Betham also crossed.
 
But Bath, who could only finish ninth in the table, rallied after the break, scoring three tries to take a 31-22 lead midway through the second-half.
 
Will Evans scored his second try in as many weeks on only his second start to bring Tigers back into the game but Jeff Williams’s converted late try ensured Bath ended their season with a win.
 
Tom Croft and Jordan Crane returned to the Tigers back row and on-loan prop Ellis Genge made his first start in the Aviva Premiership after three games as a replacement.

Jack Roberts started at centre with George Catchpole on the wing. Ben Youngs partnered Owen Williams at half-back. Academy prospect George Worth, capped by England Under-20s earlier this season, was included in the matchday squad for the first time.
 
The hosts got off to a flying start with a try after two minutes. Jonathan Joseph and Anthony Watson combined in midfield to send Semesa Rokoduguni under the posts from 30m out. Former Tigers fly-half George Ford added the extras.
 
Genge made a big impression with his first carry, taking Tigers from the Bath 10m line into their 22 where he was stopped by a high tackle. Ben Youngs took the penalty quickly and was halted just short before Tigers knocked on in heavy rain.
 
After the shock of conceding an early try Tigers settled into the game. Roberts’s break took them back into the Bath 22 where they chose to keep it tight to inch their way up to the line. However, Balmain ran into Will Evans a metre out and was pinged for crossing.
 
Betham’s kick put Watson under pressure by his own line. He evaded Betham’s tackle but was snared by Catchpole, who won the penalty for a double movement.
 
Tigers went to the corner and with the advantage of another penalty at the lineout, Balmain burrowed over from close range for his first try of the season and his first in the Aviva Premiership. Williams’s conversion went over off a post to level the scores after 17 minutes.
 
Bath enjoyed their first period of pressure inside the Leicester 22 when Tigers failed to deal with the restart. Tigers defended well and Croft stole possession from Watson but referee Craig Maxwell-Keys ruled the Leicester man went off his feet. Ford landed the penalty to give Bath a 10-7 lead going into the second quarter.
 
Genge swooped on turnover ball to regain possession on the Bath 22. The ball was spun to the left where Croft was tackled 8m short. The flanker rejoined the attack a few phases later but spilled the ball under a heavy tackle and Bath cleared.
 
Another knock-on gave Tigers possession in an attacking position and again they kept it tight to work their way into the shadow of the Bath posts. There the hosts went offside, Youngs tapped and went with the penalty but was held up next to the posts.
 
Tigers withstood a huge Bath shove at the scrum, Crane controlled possession and sent Betham crashing over Ford for his seventh try of the campaign. Converted by Williams, it gave Tigers the lead for the first time in the game.
 
Genge was again at the fore with his hard-running to take Tigers deep into the Bath 22 again. And again they made the position count with a try. It needed three defenders to deal with Genge and when the ball was recycled Tait had a simple finish from close range for his first try of the season to give Tigers a 19-10 lead at half-time.
 
Jono Kitto replaced Youngs at half-time.
 
Bath made a flying start to the second half, this time scoring a try inside 90 seconds. It began with a dancing run by Watson through broken field. Tigers never fully recovered their line and when Francois Louw took the hosts up to the line Devoto had a simple finish to bring Bath right back into the game. Ford’s conversion left Leicester 19-17 ahead.
 
Tigers eased themselves into the half by disrupting lineout ball and then winning a penalty for Louw going off his feet. Williams landed the kick to move Tigers 23-17 ahead.
 
It was a free-flowing game, helped by the sun coming out for the second half. And Bath retook the lead after 53 minutes with a third try. David Denton drove into the Leicester with the help of replacement hooker Tom Dunn for Louw to score from close-range. Ford’s extras put Bath 24-22 ahead.
 
Tigers replaced their front row with 26 minutes remaining, and the first job for Logovi’i Mulipola, Greg Bateman and Harry Thacker was to defend a 5m lineout. The forwards held up the drive, but were unable to stop Joseph offloading out of a tackle for Ford to put Rokoduguni in at the corner for a bonus-point try. Ford landed a touchline conversion to give Bath a 31-22 lead.
 
Tigers looked for a quick response from a 5m lineout. Bath infringed at the initial drive but Tigers were unable to make the penalty advantage count as the hosts’ defence held firm.
 
Tigers went to the corner again. This time Seb de Chaves claimed the throw but lost possession as Tigers set up the drive giving Bath the scrum put-in.
 
Leicester kept up the pressure through Betham’s strong break and offload which almost Thacker over. Betham rejoined the attack and looped a long pass to the left where Catchpole found Evans for his second try in as many games. It brought up the try bonus point and left Leicester 31-27 behind with 13 minutes left.
 
It was end-to-end stuff. Crane swooped on a loose ball and had Kitto on his shoulder to threaten another try. However, Bath disrupted the ruck and stole possession for Joseph to counterattack with a kick into the Tigers backfield. But Catchpole was alert to the danger and mopped up the ball to set Tigers back on the attack.
 
It was Crane’s final contribution before he was replaced by Laurence Pearce. Worth replaced Roberts for his first-team debut.nt work by Bell prevented a fifth Bath try. The replacement raced across to reach Chris Cook’s chip ahead of Jeff Williams and concede a 5m lineout.
 
But Bath did have their try moments later. Ford’s injection of pace created the space for Williams to dive in at the left corner.  Ford added the touchline conversion to finish the scoring.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

BAT 10-19 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

BAT 38-27 LEI

Attendance

13,515

Referee

Craig Maxwell-keys

Match Stats

Bath Rugby
Leicester Tigers
Possession
56%
44%
Territory
0%
0%
Penalties Conceded
9
5
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
153/180 85%
74/88 84%
Scrums Won
10/11 91%
3/3 100%
Lineouts Won
7/7 0%
8/8 0%

Player Stats

Bath Rugby
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
151T
14
13Peter Betham1T
12
11George Catchpole
102C1P
9Ben Youngs
1Ellis Genge
2
3Fraser Balmain1T
4Ed Slater
5Sebastian De Chaves
6
7Will Evans1T
8
16Harry Thacker
17Logovi'i Mulipola
18Greg Bateman
19
20Laurence Pearce
21Jono Kitto
22Tommy Bell
23George Worth
Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby
38

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
27

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Peter Betham
13
Peter Betham
12
10
2
Fraser Balmain
3
Fraser Balmain
Ed Slater
4
Ed Slater
Sebastian De Chaves
5
Sebastian De Chaves
8

Subs

19
Laurence Pearce
20
Laurence Pearce
Jono Kitto
21
Jono Kitto
Tommy Bell
22
Tommy Bell

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Anthony Watson
14
Semesa Rokoduguni
13
Jonathan Joseph
12
Ollie Devoto
11
Matt Banahan
10
George Ford
9
Will Homer
1
2
3
4
Charlie Ewels
5
Dave Attwood
6
Matt Garvey
7
8

Subs

16
Tom Dunn
17
Max Lahiff
18
Kane Palma-Newport
19
Dominic Day
20
Leroy Houston
21
Chris Cook
22
Rhys Priestland
23
Jeff Williams
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2214085094753455486365
9
Bath Rugby
Bath RugbyBAT229013435460-2547434848
Form Guide
Form
LWDLL
Last Match
Lost to Wasps 44-52
Past Meeting
Lost 31-36
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WDWDD
Last Match
Draw with Bayonne null-null
Past Meeting
Won 36-31

Matchday Live

Bath Rugby38
Bath Rugby
Leicester Tigers27
Leicester Tigers
Full Time